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Full text of "I And Thou"

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be found everywhere and at all times. The mighty
revelations which stand at the beginning of great com-
munities and at the turning-point of an age are nothing
but the eternal revelation. But the revelation does not
pour itself into the world through him who receives it
as through a funnel; it comes to TIITTQ and seizes his
whole elemental being in all its particular nature, and
fuses with it. The man,,too, who is the " mouth " of
the revelation, is indeed this, not a speaking-tube or
any kind of instrument, but an organ, which sounds
according to its own laws; and to sound means to modify.
The various ages of history, however, show a quali-
tative difference. There is a time of maturing, when the
true element of the human spirit, suppressed and buried,
comes to hidden readiness so urgent and so tense that
it awaits only a touch from Him who touches in order
to burst forth. The revelation that then makes its
appearance seizes in the totality of its constitution
the whole elemental stuff that is thus-prepared, melts
it down, and produces in it a form that is a new form
of God in the world.
Thus in the course of history, in the transforming of
elemental human stuff, ever new provinces of the world
and the spirit are raised to form, summoned to divine
form. Ever new spheres become regions of a theophany.
It is not mail's own power that works here, nor is it
God's pure effective passage, but it is a mixture of the
divine and the human. He who is sent out in the
strength of revelation takes with him, in his eyes, an
image of God; however far this exceeds the senses, yet
he takes it with him in the eye of the spirit, in that
visual power of his spirit which is not metaphorical